POLICE have assured Wimmera residents that armed robberies are rare in the region despite two incidents in the past month.
They have also encouraged residents to remain vigilant towards their home and personal safety and security.
On July 21, a man allegedly robbed Horsham's Baillie Street Caltex petrol station armed with a baseball bat.
Police have charged a man with the offence. He appeared at Horsham Magistrates' Court last week and was denied bail.
There was an unrelated armed robbery at a Dooen Road, Horsham business on August 14.
Police have charged a man with aggravated burglary with an offensive weapon. He appeared at Horsham Magistrates' Court last week and was remanded into custody.
Horsham Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Ellis said armed robberies were an infrequent occurrence in the region.
"It's something seen in other areas that is not often seen here. We're lucky that we don't get that sort of thing here," he said.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ellis said most thefts and burglaries occurred because of easy access.
"That is people not locking their cars or house where they're not home. By not locking it up, it's not doing much to keep would-be offenders from doing their thing," he said.
Victoria Police Western Region Superintendent Paul Margetts said it was "uncommon and unusual" to experience an armed robbery in the Wimmera, particularly in Horsham.
"This is a really unique set of circumstances, but that doesn't make it any less traumatising for the employee, it would have been a terrible experience for them," he said.
Superintendent Margetts said people were more likely to be a victim of crime if it was committed by someone they knew.
"Our crime data in the Wimmera shows that it's far more likely that the perpetrator of a crime and the victim are known to each other," he said.
He said people felt safe in the Wimmera, which often led to more relaxed attitudes around safety.
"Around the Horsham CBD we have really good CCTV footage which is a useful investigative tool. It's not the only tool we use, but is very useful," he said.
"We also have a very welcoming community where people feel safe and are comfortable of having a lower level of security that matches the safe area that we live in.
"It's a nice thing that people can not be concerned about whether they've locked their doors or not. I know that creates a risk, but it still demonstrates to me the level of confidence that people have in their community."
Most recent Crime Statistics Agency data for the Wimmera showed that the most common form of crime was assault, followed by theft. Breaching orders was the third most common offence.
The data also showed there were 1442 criminal incidents in the Horsham area between June 2018 to 2019.
Superintendent Margetts said crime numbers were going up but that was due to increased policing of crimes.
"The biggest growth in crime numbers across the division I look after relates to justice procedures, where people have breached bail or intervention orders," he said.
"To me that's a demonstration that we're deploying the resources that we have to where the harm is in the community. We're definitely seeing an increase in reporting of matters that probably won't reported in the past."
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